Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa formally launched the Sri Lanka Apparel Brands Association (SLABA) in the presence of a large gathering of key apparel industry players in Colombo.
Minister Rajapaksa also launched the Association’s new website on the occasion.
Actually, the Domestic Garment Manufacturers Association (DGMA), founded by the late AYS Gnanam, has now been rebranded as SLABA with Indradatta Dharmawardane as its new chairman.
SLABA’s objectives are to gain both local and international recognition as the hub of Sri Lanka’s apparel brands, operating as a facilitator to develop the apparel brands segment among newcomers to the industry and seek to take Sri Lankan brands to the international arena and establish them as globally recognized brands, according to the Ministry’s website.
SLABA will provide a common forum for the diverse product portfolio of branded apparel representing casual wear, tailoring and formal wear, fashion wear, uniform and work wear, lingerie, and other products such as socks, head wear, bags, etc.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mr. Dharmawardane said Sri Lankan brands account for 40 percent of the country’s estimated US$ 2 billion retail apparel market.
He said the association has rebranded to gain greater recognition as they assert themselves as an association which encourages branded quality products for the consumer.
The Association plans to expand market opportunities through the introduction of International Market Places (as in Thailand, Indonesia and China) for tourists and business travelers with a variety catering to all segments.
SLABA will also shape the policies that impact the apparel industry in the domestic market through dynamic lobbying with both government and non-government organizations.